As the island’s children return to school today after the circuit break lockdown children at Manor Park and Anagh Coar primary schools will be learning about the importance of looking after their mental health as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.
Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity and the theme they have chosen for this year’s week is ‘Express Yourself’.
Key Figures from CMHW website:
1 in 6 children and young people have diagnosable mental health problems
50% of people with lifelong mental health problems first experience symptoms by age 14
1 in 10 boys aged 5-19 with mental health problems are excluded from school in some form
Head teacher Rob Coole said: ‘The children will be watching a virtual assembly on Monday to introduce the theme for the week and to learn about why it is important to feel happy and confident in yourself.
‘The schools will also be having ‘Dress to Express’ dress down days on Friday where they have been asked to wear their favourite outfits and share with their classmates why they have chosen these. They might be wearing their team football strips, favourite colours or favourite fancy dress outfits – whatever makes them happy really!’
Throughout the week there will be a variety of other activities their teachers may choose from to allow the kids to express themselves and get to know each other even better – these might include activities based around music, dance or art.
Anagh Coar Primary School have celebrated CMHW for the last three years and since taking over the headship at Manor Park Primary School too in January Mr Coole said he is ‘really looking forward to seeing how celebrations across the two schools go this time around’.
He added: ‘Having only had one proper day in my new school before lockdown I’m really looking forward to embedding the Ready, Respectful, Safe approach to school life I introduced on my first day and think that celebrating Children’s Mental Health Week will be a perfect way to do this. I would also like to say a huge thank you to both of my school communities for their help and support throughout lockdown – the staff, parents and children have worked really hard and engaged really well with their remote learning opportunities and we are really looking forward to seeing everyone safe and healthy today.’
Children’s Mental Health Week is a UK initiative supported by the Duchess of Cambridge who acts as its patron.
For more information or for helpful links for young people and their parents/carers who may be struggling with their mental health see: